Tag Archives: goals

Are you on the right track?

10 Jan

I’ve lost count of the holidays I’ve planned, but never taken. Courses I’ve craved, but never started. Or worse, courses I’ve started (and often spent a lot of money on!) before running out of steam and deciding they’re no longer ‘for me’. There is so much I want to do and achieve. Yet at the start of each new year, I find myself with a long list of unfulfilled dreams. I tell myself, this year will be different. This year I’ll take those trips, learn that language, write that novel! While knowing, in the back of my mind, I probably won’t.

Does this sound like you? (Here’s where you nod your head so I know I’m not alone!)

Do you find yourself researching new ideas, career paths, courses, holidays or ventures, only to go off them a week later? Or do you excitedly set out on a new path, before throwing in the towel and realising it wasn’t right? What happened? And how do we know which plans we should run with, and those that aren’t worth our time?

To find out, I spoke with breakthrough and transformation therapist Shelley Viskovich.

Shelley says it’s not a big deal if our loose plans to take a trip to Thailand with friends (plans often made after a few wines!) don’t go anywhere. It just means it wasn’t a priority.

“We only have so much energy to use for what we want to do, so it’s about how much you really want to do it,” Shelley says.  “If it was important enough for you to go with your friends on vacation, you’d move mountains to make it happen. Whereas in the scheme of things, it would probably just be a nice thing to do.  It’s great to think of doing these things as it gives you ideas of what you want to do and what you like.”

The light bulb moment

So how do we know which plans are the ones we should, uh, plan?

Shelley says it’s about the ‘light bulb moment’.

“I get an incredible surge or intuition in my body.  I feel really present and it feels as though time slows down and I am in the flow of the moment.  It’s like I am going through life doing my daily activities, but something bigger is going on underneath like that goal is alive and is working under the surface all the time.

“When you feel this way about a decision, you know that it is right for you.  Also when things connected to that choice come up, you know it’s right as well.  Like if you are thinking about moving to Cairns and then out of the blue someone talks to you about living in Cairns.  You know that’s the universe’s way of letting you know you are on the right track and your energy starts bringing things in to you.”

I like this mantra. It’s about trusting that the right decisions will present themselves. Feeling the surge. Surrendering to it and letting the process take over.

Reflect on the past

What decisions have you made in the past that turned out and changed your life for the better (or worse)? Shelley advises writing a list of those decisions that worked out, and those which didn’t.

“Sit and feel into what each one was like.  Did you have a sense it wasn’t the right choice but you did it anyway?  People often report that they did have a feeling it wasn’t the right choice at the time, but they override it as part of them wanted to do it anyway.”

Years ago, I started a counselling diploma, because I was desperate to escape my mind-numbing job. Plus, my friends and family said I’d make a good counsellor. I’m still trying to finish the damn thing and my heart just isn’t in it. It didn’t feel right at the time, and it definitely doesn’t feel right now. I now know that I didn’t trust what my ‘self’ was trying to tell me. I needed to listen.

Be a smart planner

Of course, it’s not all up to the universe. Despite what advocates of The Secret might say, you do have to put in some effort!

So often I’ve had an idea, one that really stirs something within me, and I’ve left it at that. Surely if I want it that badly, it will come into fruition, right? Not so. Here’s where the practical stuff comes in. It’s important to set S.M.A.R.T goals. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

If we really want to change, we need to turn vague thoughts into concrete, achievable goals.


Continue to explore

One of the joys of life is questioning where we are now and where we want to be. I may not have taken any of those planned trips, or spent a year teaching English overseas (something I’ve wanted to do since I was 20). But reflecting and thinking and dreaming can be a lot of fun. It can help free us from our own restraints.

“Life is about constantly exploring new options. ‘Do I like where I live? Do I love my job? Am I happy?’  Exploring this it is a good thing, as if you don’t love your job and love your life, you should look at making changes in the areas that count.”

And with that, I’m off to plan next year’s trip to India! 😉

Monday musing: If you could be, do or have anything

19 Dec

A few years ago, mum sent me The New Psychology of Achievement – a set of six CDs by motivational guru Brian Tracy. Being the self development-obsessed lass that I am, I eagerly tore off the wrapper, loaded the CDs into my iPod and listened to them day and night. I lapped up the lessons, nodded along to Brian’s wise words and believed my life was about to change.

One of the questions repeated on the CDs was “What one great thing would you dare to dream, if you knew you could not faiI? If you could be, do or have anything in life, what would it be? If you had all the money, all the resources, all the contacts and all the skills, how would you live your life?”

The idea was that once you had answered this question, you would never have to work again. Well, you would, as unfortunately optimism doesn’t buy shoes. But the idea what that it wouldn’t feel like work. You’d be living your dream.

I mulled over the question for weeks and eventually came up with a list that included:

  • Helping others to enrich their lives.
  • Working for myself from home.
  • Writing about anything and everything.
  • Being a published author, with a suite of novels.
  • Eat Tim Tams without gaining weight (I imagined one of the ‘what ifs’ included ‘If calories didn’t exist’).

Then one morning, I sat upright in bed and decided I would run my own business helping people to get organised. The idea just popped into my head. I decided to go with it. A few weeks later, I quit my stifling job and launched my professional organising business. Just as the recession hit. Perhaps not the smartest move! But even as people were tightening their belts, I still managed to build a successful little business. It was a short stint. I ended up returning to employment after 10 months (though, thankfully, in a job I loved). While answering Brian Tracy’s question didn’t get me set up for life, it did help me escape a miserable job and find another focus, even if it was just for a few months.

Asking the question again

As a new year approaches, I’m once again pondering the question ‘If I could be, do or have anything, how would I live my life?’ The aim of the question is to get us to re-frame our lives and ponder our path. It’s about a paradigm shift. Brian claims that if you can change your thinking, you can change your life. 

He says that if you can shake off the ‘I’m not good enough’ feelings and re-frame how you see yourself, you can be your perfect self. If you imagine yourself as ‘the perfect person, the very best person you could possibly be, with the very best qualities you could possibly have, living the life, doing the things, having the things that are most important to you, this is your self ideal.’ Once you start visualising and living as your ideal self, you can set out to achieve the ‘be, do or have anything’ dream and voila – you’ll be living your perfect life!

This year, I haven’t allowed myself much time to stop and think this question through. I’ve been so focused on ticking off my to-do list, leaving little time to ponder, plan and dream big.

One of my biggest fears is looking back in ten years’ time and asking, ‘What the heck did I do all those years?’ So this Christmas, when I escape to mum’s retreat for some much needed R&R, I’m going to pull out the pens and paper (I find the computer crushes my creativity) and go to town on that paradigm shift. Sure, I might come back with a big wad of idealistic crap, but at least I’ll have granted myself the time and space to create that crap. And surely taking the time to plan how you want to spend your time, is the first and greatest challenge.

If you could be, do or have anything, what would it be? Or do you already have it all? Share by commenting below. 🙂

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